Buccaneers: Three Pro Bowl locks for the 2017 season
3. Cameron Brate
Make the Bucs Brate again!
When thinking about the tight end position, a great many names come to mind. The biggest is Rob Gronkowski, but others include Travis Kelce, Greg Olsen, Jason Witten, Jimmy Graham and Delanie Walker. There isn’t necessarily a Bucs player that comes to mind. However, there should be. Very quietly, there was a guy tied for the league lead in touchdowns for tight ends and was right in the mix with his reception numbers. His name is Cameron Brate.
Last year, Brate caught 57 passes for 660 yards and eight touchdowns. Of his 57 catches, 40 of them went for first downs, a rate of 70.2%. Not only did Brate become reliable catching the football, he also knew how to move the chains. How often do we see guys making catches short of the sticks in key situations? 16 of those conversions came on third down. He caught 70% of his targets, most of them converting first downs. What else could we want from this guy?
Like Evans, Brate should be even better in 2017. Yes, O.J. Howard was brought in to play tight end as well. Being a fairly adept blocker, Howard will see time as a blocker along the line as well as catching passes. He won’t take away as many opportunities for Brate as you might think, especially early. DeSean Jackson will also take attention to the outside and away from Brate on the inside. The receivers on the outside will leave the seams wide open for Brate, and his numbers have the potential to jump.
Look for his first Pro Bowl invite in 2017.
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Who are your Pro Bowl locks this year? Let us know…